The Scott Arboretum celebrates tillandsias with students during COVID.

Scott Arboretum staff love to share the joy of plants with all around us.  In the past year, this meant many changes in our programs to stay safe.

Tillandsias – Air Plant – Epiphyte

Student with Scott bags

Tillandsia Time

Previously, the “First Year Plant Giveaway” and the “Welcome Back Plant Bash” were live celebrations with students choosing a plant, potting it up and learning how to care for it.  This year, we instead offered Tillandsia Time.  You, as alumni, are now being included in this fun adventure of owning a plant that primarily lives on air and water.  

Photo caption: Mertz RA Edward Tranter, Class of 2022, does a safe pick up  of tillandsia bags to distribute to fellow students.

Tillandsia in facemaks

What is a tillandsia?

It is an “air plant” or epiphyte.

Resident Assistants (RA) helped Sue MacQueen, Campus Engagement Coordinator, safely distribute bags of tillandsia to students living on campus.  We then set up Zoom gatherings to teach about the plant.

Photo caption: A sign of the times, a Swarthmore College student used a facemask for growing their Tillandsia.

Tillandsia display

How to care for your plant

For comprehensive information on how to care for your plant (Tillandsia spp.) visit the informative link below from the New York Botanical Garden. 

Photo caption: Here’s how  Scott Arboretum Horticulturist Josh Coceano, displayed tillandsias in the garden during the summer.